Sharing house rules and policies with your sitter or nanny is key to communicating and understanding each other’s expectations. Social media policies – essentially what you think is and isn’t ok for your sitter to post or share about your family on social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – should be an important component of the discussion about what’s expected of her time with your family.
Posting updates and sharing photos via social media has become a common, acceptable way of communicating. It’s likely your sitter or nanny uses at least one form of social media, and may be unaware that posting photos or mentions of her time with your kids may not be something your are comfortable with her sharing with the world. A candid discussion regarding the following guidelines, which you can tailor to suit what works for you and your preferences, should also include what you are ok with her sharing.
Social Media Guidelines for Your Babysitter or Nanny
- Review privacy settings together. Settings on social media outlets can be changed so that location is not posted when your sitter updates or communicates. You should also ask her to change privacy options so that only her friends and followers can view content, rather than the world at large.
- Know Our Photo Policy. Advise your sitter of your preference regarding posting photos of your children. Would you rather her not post any photos of them, or are you comfortable with her posting appropriate photos without using tags?
- Respect Our Family’s Privacy. Ask your sitter not to use your family’s full names or give details that could identify you. This includes using location information, such as your street name, the name of your child’s school or the Little Gym branch she attends with your child.
- Be Mindful of Focusing on the Kids. Gently remind your sitter that while it’s very tempting to send updates and often necessary for her to communicate with friends and family, it’s important that she be selective about the time she spends on her phone. Time on the phone takes her focus away from the kids. Suggest boundaries that work for you, whether it be that she only use her phone in an emergency or that she limits the use to your child’s nap time or quiet time. Explain that you’d like your kids to view the time they spend with her as special and something they look forward to enjoying.
Sharing these important social media guidelines with your sitter or nanny is part of providing her with the tools she needs to succeed and best care for your kids. If you feel that she’s spending more time than she should be on her phone or engaging with social media while she should be watching your kids, be sure to voice your concerns and reinforce how important the rules are to you. Most sitters would never intentionally put your family in danger, and are more than understanding of the importance of protecting your family and its privacy.